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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Bradenton Beach comp plan committee starts its trek

The long, lonely process of reviewing, revising or retaining the long-term growth plan of Bradenton Beach has begun.

Seven members of a special committee, which will be led by consultant Tony Arrant of the Florida Institute of Goverment and has Anna O'Brien serve as city commission liaison, are expected to take about two years going over the city's comprehensive plan, land development codes and the city's charter.

In the first meeting of the group last week, Ernest Clay was elected as committee chair and Janie Robertson as recording secretary. Arrant will serve as meeting facilitator.

In a mostly get-to-know-one-another session, the committee members talked a little about themselves.

Clay, a licensed registered architect in Illinois and Florida and also a member of the city's planning and zoning board, said he has been a city resident for more than four years and enjoys swimming and boating.

  • Timothy Lyons moved to the United States from England in 1967, and moved to Bradenton Beach from Connecticut in 2000. He is an avid tennis player.
  • Tjet Martin, who has managed a rental property in the city for six years, moved to the city permanently about six months ago. She loves to read and watch the dolphins.
  • Michael Pierce, a member of the Anna Maria Elementary School Advisory Council, retired to the city after 36 years working for General Motors as a performance supervisor.
  • Katie Pierola, former mayor of Bradenton Beach, moved to the city in 1970 and owned and operated a resort for 25 years. She served three terms as mayor and also loves to read and watch movies.
  • Mike Norman, a 30-year real estate veteran, said his hobbies are "to harass city commission members" and boating.
  • Robertson, who served on an educational task force in Michigan and is a retired science teacher from Michigan, has rented property in the city since 1994.
  • Arrant asked the committee members what were the problems they believed the city was facing. In no particular ranking, the list included:
  • A disconnect between the vision statement and the current character of the city in that development is not consistent with the city's vision.
  • A need to educate the public on planning code implementation and variances.
  • Enhancement of the city's quality of life.
  • Development is too dense, or intense.
  • Need to educate the committee on comp plan and land development code needs.
  • Addressing the lowering percentage of permanent residents.
  • Current housing patterns that serve as a disincentive for permanent residents.
  • Deletion of high-density zoning in the city.
  • Too few single-family lots and homes in the city.
  • Current zoning that could increase multi-family dwellings in the city.
  • Land-use compatibility regarding size and mass.
  • Need to review land development codes regarding parking and drainage.
  • Need for a more restrictive interpretation and implementation of the land development codes.
  • Need of an existing land-use inventory in the city.
  • Addressing traffic and pedestrian safety.
  • Environmental protection.

Finally, Arrant suggested the board members offer their suggestions as to what makes up a "community." Again, in no particular order, committee members said people, safety, buildings, natural resources, including climate, recreational facilities, infrastructure, commerce, public facilities and culture.

The next committee meeting will be at 6 p.m. March 10.

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